Type of publication:
*Butterworth J.; *Los L.
Medicine (United Kingdom); 2019; vol. 47, no. 5, p. 314-319
Coeliac disease (CD) is a common, chronic, immune-mediated small bowel enteropathy resulting from gluten exposure in genetically susceptible individuals. Considerable clinical and immunopathological heterogeneity is seen in newly diagnosed patients, and the diagnosis is not always straightforward even for experienced physicians. Population screening using tissue transglutaminase 2 has revealed a higher prevalence of seropositivity than previously appreciated. There is a wide differential diagnosis for mucosal villous atrophy, crypt hyperplasia and increased intraepithelial lymphocyte concentrations. Life-long adherence to a gluten-free diet is currently the only recommended treatment for CD, although many newer approaches are being explored. CD is rightly described as a multisystem disorder and is associated with other gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal related disorders, numerous complications and possibly reduced survival. The landscape has recently expanded with the identification that some patients with symptoms suggestive of CD but without the mucosal changes seem to respond to a gluten-free diet. This group of patients are currently labelled as having non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. Controversy exists over whether this is a separate disease entity. This review briefly discusses the important clinical, immunological and therapeutic aspects of CD.